Ohio dad builds wheelchair-accessible igloo for his kids with disabilities

By Caitlin O'Kane

/ CBS News

A Cincinnati dad is being praised for building a wheelchair-accessible igloo so all of his kids could share in the fun of playing in the snow. Gregg Eichhorn and his wife Katie have nine adopted children and all of them have special needs, he told CBS News.

"We adopt all medical and special needs kids because seems like those are the kids where they have the hardest time finding homes for them," Eichhorn said.

His 19-year-old daughter, Zahara, who uses a wheelchair, was able to roll right into the family's supersized snow fort – and it was a huge hit. Zahara, who was adopted from the African nation of Uganda, is non-verbal, but Eichhorn said it was clear that she was happy when she saw the igloo. "Her face lit up – she gets super excited," Eichhorn said. "I think she felt like a movie star."

Zahara's brother, Elijah, also uses a wheelchair and enjoyed the igloo, too. In fact, all nine kids loved playing in the special fort. "They're all loving it. They think it's really neat," Eichhorn said.

Eichhorn said his sister, Sarah, pitched in to help build the igloo, as did his other kids. His friend, Dan Thoms, took photos of Zahara in the fort and posted them on reddit. The story was up-voted over 70,000 times and received widespread attention.

Eichhorn is happy the story went viral simply because he can now spread his message: "I think it's really important that all kids with medical and special needs that are orphans have people to step up and provide them with homes," he said. His nine kids not only have a loving home, but a neat snow fort, too.

Dad builds special igloo for daughter in wheelchair

A DAD'S GIFT: This dad built a wheelchair-accessible igloo for his kids with disabilities, so all nine of his adopted children could play in the snow together ❤️️

Posted by CBS News on Wednesday, January 16, 2019

First published on January 16, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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